First of all, let me say I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to what I’m about to say. We like affirmation. I like affirmation. So when my team wins I feel like I’m part of a winning team. Somehow. So when I read of a member of the Church of Christ who has made a public name for their self, I feel affirmed that I am on a winning team. Somehow.
It seems I’m not alone in this. I keep seeing these sort of things. And I like them. But my question is, why? Do I somehow need to be reassured that my team has some players that are good at sports, winning beauty contests, doctors of note, news people and politicians? The answer is apparently, yes. I say, “So and so is a member of the Church of Christ.” Why? Perhaps it’s because we (I) are a little insecure with who we are. There is no doubt that we may have our reasons, but we are still part of that family. We are here because they were there, good or bad.
If that’s why we (I) need to be reassured that people who have public recognition are on my team, we (I) need to get over it. As the Churches of Christ we have our place in the world of Christianity, and it is more than for “star” power. The following are excerpts taken from an article by Ted Campbell, Associate Professor of Church History, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, which was printed the Cross Lanes WV Church of Christ bulletin recently. When affirmation comes from a theologian, it is more than “star” power. It is entitled, “Here are five reasons why the Churches of Christ may be right after all.”
“First, they have a profound insight into Christian music and its place in worship. I’m not sure I buy the rational that says that because the New Testament doesn’t mention musical instruments, congregations should not be forced to sing with them.”
“There’s something utterly wonderful about the sound of human voices blending together in harmony. I wonder if we have gone too far with our instrumental fetish in worship.”
“Second, they’ve sure got the right name. If you think about, I mean think about it from the perspective of a friendly outsider, ‘Methodist’ and ‘Presbyterian’ and ‘Baptist’ are not really names for Christian groups. Even ‘Catholic’ sounds a little pretentious and ‘Orthodox’ a little snitty. ‘Church of Christ’ sounds pretty straightforward by contrast.”
“Third, the Churches of Christ celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Churches of Christ folk haven’t fallen for Protestants’ quirky idea that words can suffice in place of bread and wine” (Campbell had attended the Preston Road congregation to write the report) “It reminded me of the simple prayers over the bread and the wine in the second century Didache document.”
Fourth, there is really only one Church of Christ. That’s one of the cardinal claims of the ecumenical movement of the twentieth century, and the Churches of Christ are way out front in making us aware of that claim. You don’t have to buy the ‘hard shell’ version of the Church of Christ to own that basic truth.”
Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, the simplicity of the Churches of Christ allows them to focus on what is most important, namely, the Gospel of Jesus. There was no congregational creed beyond the songs we sang…”
One visit does not a church make. But Campbell’s observations have to do with what he witnessed about that which we in the Churches of Christ may at times feel inferior. Campbell said the Churches of Christ had “not a lot of technological razzmatazz, not a lot of heavy emotion, not an elaborate or sophisticated liturgy, they just get the job done.” Another person may have found this to be quaint and outdated, but here is a teacher of theology who came away impressed. So I offer this just in case you may be feeling a little insecure, which we (I) need to get over. The full article and other related ones can be read at heartcoremethodist.org
CONCERNS: Eleanor Crush (cancer), Maci Winebarger is being treated for cancer as well. Jamie King is recovering from a car accident. Janet McWhorter is undergoing rehabilitation for breathing related problems. Randy Conner has what seems to be terminal cancer. Remember his wife, Debbie and family. Mike Breeding (heart related problems) and his wife are not well at this time. Joni Beach’s mother, and Helen Nicklas, as she deals with her heart related problems. It was so good to see her at church last Sunday. Joyce Matney, Ron’s wife has been having some stomach problems. Connie Crites father, Roger Fisher’s nephew in Florida (cancer), Wilma and Jenni Cullum, and Tim Elder. There are those still seeking permanent employment, among them are Joanne Elder and Erma Williams. The work of Health Talents Int, Bread For A Hungry
World and for the world itself as its people are torn with war, strife and need.
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 2-7
Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18;1-4
Wednesday: II Corinthians 1:3-11
Thursday: I Cor. 5:1-18; II Cor 1:23-2:11
Friday: Job 1:13-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 9-14
Monday: Matthew 22:1-22
Tuesday: Colossians 1:21-2:7
Wednesday: John 6:52-71
Thursday: Romans 7:1-12
Friday: Matthew 23:1-22
Saturday: Psalm 114:1-8
This is painful and awkward. As this is being written, Myron Dugan is taking the last breaths of his full, 90 year old life. The reason it is written now, on a Thursday, is because everyone who reads this and knows Myron and Vivian and what they mean to this church will be informed and can pray for Vivian and the family in this time of grief and loss. The next bulletin will be in two weeks.
Myron felt a little under the weather on Sunday, April 10 and even though he’d dressed for church, he decided to stay home. By the next Sunday he was worse and went to the Emergency Room at Lewis-Gale. He was immediately admitted with double pneumonia and a possible fungal infection in his lungs. By Monday evening he was in intensive care. Each day he grew weaker, but for those who visited, that strong, firm signature handshake was still there as well as a smile. By Easter Sunday things were not looking good and they told Vivian and the children there was no hope, that they would keep him comfortable until the time came. He slipped deeper and deeper into sleep.
As we all know, he has always been robust and active, so with all machines turned off, as was his wish, set well before he got sick, he breathed for several days on his own with just a little oxygen to keep him comfortable.
The Dugans have been part of this congregation for over fifty years. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in March. Their love story has inspired all who knew them, and their love could be seen in the way they looked at each other.
NOTE: Myron died at about 3:00 on Thursday, April, 28. Any funeral arrangements will be in the newspaper. Other things will be collaborated by the congregation when the time comes.
THE BACK YARD
Thanks to some of us who were available and three paid workers from the Rescue Mission, as well as Jim Hunter, who borrowed a log splitter, we were able to clean up the area behind the annex and make it look good for the Easter Egg hunt.
The poison ivy has been treated and will continue to be kept under control now that we can get to it. There is still some more work to be done to finish it off.